Just a gigolo

By CAROLYN CLAY  |  July 25, 2006

Gloucester Stage Company is taking a second shot at Arthur Miller’s solid 1968 drama The Price (through August 6), with the wonderful Sol Frieder reprising the role he first undertook at GSC in 1994 at the dewy age of 75. Now 87, he plays spurred-out-of-retirement used-furniture dealer Gregory Solomon to shrewd, doddering, humane perfection. The play centers on the long-festering mutual resentment of two brothers, one of whom sacrificed a potentially brilliant career in science to care for a bankrupt father while the other turned his back and became a successful surgeon. Having not spoken for years, they are brought together by the need to sell the family furniture. The question is whether policeman Victor, who’s given a resonant yet vulnerable reading by Michael Serratore, made a moral choice or just lay down, fearful of the success followed by failure that defeated the businessman father. Thank goodness we have Arthur Miller to turn an august and ethical eye on America in the crises of the 1930s and ’40s. But The Price hashes and rehashes its familial quarrel ad infinitum. Director Harold Dixon, who also plays surgeon Walter, could have pruned. As it is, the heartfelt, realistic production is as splendid — and as heavy-duty — as the old furniture.

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